Have you ever climbed to the top of Barnegat Lighthouse?


We just finished exploring some potential neighborhoods and decided, as a family, to visit Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. We thought that on this cold and brisk day we were going to take a quick walk and take in the view.

To our surprise there were quite a few people outside walking around the national park. If you’ve never been, it’s at the northern tip of LBI in Ocean County. The views are quite incredible. You will see lots of people fishing along the banks and boats entering the waterway.

What happened next was not planned. We noticed, shortly after our arrival at 10:30 am, that the Barnegat Lighthouse opened, allowing people to climb to the top and get to the observation deck.

My youngest daughter, a few months old, is attached to my wife like a 15-pound vest. My oldest, now three years old, around 25 pounds (yes, she’s tiny) wanted to be held all the time.

So why not, why not climb 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse, with masks on. What could go wrong?

We started our journey to the top. Notice there is no elevator, just a tightly coiled, yellow spiral staircase (or maybe some sort of mustard-colored staircase).

Photo credit – Kyle Anthony

My wife went first and I followed, holding my eldest daughter with my left arm and the handrail with my right. As we went up, little notes waited at each landing, or as I called them, rest points. They were roughly spaced just enough apart, to make you think you are making progress but, mocking you at every stop with the reminder that you are far from the top.

Halfway up, we realized, “Oh shit, we’ve got to make our way down. No time to think about it so we went ahead.

Finally, we reached the last stopping point before the summit where we were able to access the viewing platform. Only 16 steps out of 201!

Photo credit – Kyle Anthony

Once we got to the top we were greeted by a blast of wind and fresh air from the Atlantic. After a few quick photo ops, we went back inside and started returning to the ground.

Wow, we thought going up was tough. No, that was the easy part. After the climb in this small space with two children. The descent is just a little more difficult, you have to control your balance going down the narrow steps.

I had a problem from the start of our descent. I normally hold my daughter on my left side, I had a few shoulder injuries on my right, and it’s just hard to hold her up. Well there is no ramp at the top of the lighthouse for my right side. So I had to make a very quick adjustment and come to a slow stop on the steps.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous but once I was able to get into part of the stairs it got a little easier.

I was extremely happy to see the pitch at the end of this. Now don’t get me wrong I would do it one hundred percent. No doubt about it. I’m just not carrying my daughter. I just didn’t expect to do CrossFit at Barnegat Lighthouse.

Overall it was great spending time with the family on LBI.

We will definitely come back to explore Barnegat Lighthouse again.

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